LASAR Learning About Science and Religion
The LASAR (Learning about Science and Religion) Project was set up in 2009 in collaboration with the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge.
The LASAR Project was motivated by a concern that there is a strong public perception (reinforced by some popular media) that science and religion are in some sense opposites, that is that science is an atheistic activity. In particular, school pupils may come to accept this as a normative standard: something that is both incorrect, and which could deter students who hold a religious faith from considering science as a suitable basis of future study and career.
LASAR is conducting research which will help to find out more about exactly what school students do think about science and religion, something of the factors which they feel influence their views, and how their ideas shift over time.
LASAR staff is also developing workshops and website resources (including videos) designed to support teachers in engaging secondary age pupils in the area of science and religion. The aim is to make sure that there are sufficient accessible and balanced presentations to help pupils to recognise that this is a nuanced area where there are no simple answers (so scientists hold a wide range of faith positions and views on religious matters), and offer them interesting resources to stimulate their own thinking in this area.
Team: Prof Berry Billingsley (Lead Researcher), Dr Manzoorul Abedin (Research Fellow), Dr Marc Brown (Research Fellow), Finley Lawson (Research Fellow), Dr Mehdi Nassaji (Researcher), Dr Andrea Ramos Arias (Research Fellow), Kate Fittall (Coordinator and Assistant Researcher), Tom German (Project Co-ordinator and Research Assistant).
Advisory Board Members: Prof John Hedley Brooke (Emeritus), Marianne Cutler, Michael Poole, Prof. Michael Reiss, Prof. Mary James, Dr John Taylor.
In the "Workshops" section there is a describtion of the project in the classrooms. The project is looking to discover the insights and critical thinking skills that students will need and to explore and develop ways to teach them. The section contains videos, articles and useful texts.
The "Research" area hosts the peer-reviewed-journal "Epistemic Insights" available online and a list of bibliographic suggestions about the topic science-religion-teaching.
The "Media&Impact" section presents a selection of articles from the Press (updated till 2017).